RE: Rarity of worms in the US.
Now that Adam has been diagnosed, his doctors are saying that worms are not rare at all. They simply felt that a young person from an upper middle class family, who had other family members with autoimmune illnesses, and had preliminary tests for worms come out negative, just wasn't a candidate for whom they would be incredibly concerned. Our doctors now say, having done some research, that increased immigration into the US, coupled with increased travel from the US is significantly increasing the chances of contracting various types of parasites.
I also learned from the neighboring farming village, after telling the story, that hookworm in particular, is a problem there. The farmers tell me they give themselves a small dose of pyrantel pamoate every six months to help prevent worms. This practice concerns me, because although one can easily get a pharmacist to provide this OTC, a person is forced to detoxify a drug, he may not need. In the same general area, the medicine man from the local Indian tribe with whom I am friendly, tells me that the local Indians prevent worms by eating RAW peanuts (a poison) They claim that the poisonous oils in the raw peanuts, which will make us sick, are lethal to the worms. This is also something I wouldn't try without medical supervision, especially on a sick person !
In any event, I think we have established that for our area, parasitic worms of one variety or another are here. They simply may be tolerated better by some individuals than others. We may indeed be in a rural area of Virginia on a large farm, and have creeks and streams etc, however, we are 3.5 hours from DC, and area which I do not consider all that remote.
We have also learned that even "good" labs are ill equipped to diagnose worms of most varieties. In the United States, there is only one lab that has the technology and expertise to use an optimized parasite
recovery system and computerized microscopic detection system to aid the pathologist.Only physicians with prior arrangements with this lab, can use it. It is quite expensive, and this also would explain why many cases probably go undetected, at least for a time.
Home this helps someone.